(514-09-29) Bedside Manners
Summary: Rowan visits his injured brother after he takes ill and meets Lady Vesper
Date: 9/29/514
Related: Killing with Kindness, combat logs yet to be posted
rowan steffan vesper 

When Steffan did not return to Sarum from the southern front, it usually means that something is wrong, especially after he was tasked with leading one of the forces that was sent south to repel the attacking army that was sent by Dorset. Word from the south that filtered north did not speak of the de Wylye taking any grievous wounds, in fact most would have said that the young knight only took one noticeable wound to the thigh.

So if one were to search the Salisbury war encampment to the south, they would be pointed to where the de Wylye tent has been set up. And in the tent, lays a knight that does not look well. There is no grievous wound that afflicts Steffan but there is an expression of discomfort with beads of perspiration on his face. His shirt is also rather damp meaning that he is sweating from the body as well. There is an attempt to rest to see if his body would fight off whatever sickness infects him but he is not winning that battle either.

Rowan did soon notice the lack of Steffan's presence: there was an alarming lack of lectures in the past few days. He fears the worst given what Steffan was tasked to do, even if he was given little reason to believe so outside of the fact that his brother was taking his time getting back. He had just been wedded, but he still tears himself away from home to visit where his brother ought to be!

There is some relief when he flips up the tent flap and finds his brother laying within, though concern visibly sets in again when it becomes apparent that his brother is not entirely well. "Steffan…? What happened?"

Hearing footsteps outside, Steffan assumed it was just his squire checking on him or bringing him more water so he does not lift his head, keeping his forearm over his eyes as if to block out the light outside of his tent. But when he hears his older brother's voice, the arm slips away and the younger de Wylye does lift his head to look towards the entrance, "Rowan, what are you doing this far south? You should be home." As for the question, there is a slight shake his head, "We won but it was a bloody victory, especially for those that were under my command." Of course Steffan would assume that his brother is asking about the battle and how it did not go flawlessly. There is also disappointment in the younger de Wylye's tone as well, as if the knight himself expected better.

"So should you," his brother answers as he steps fully into the tent. Rowan's frown deepens at the news that their men did not fare well, but his concern clearly remains on his sweaty brother. "That is unfortunate, but often the case in war." There is an uncomfortable pause as Rowan continues to observe Steffan from where he stood. "Did you take injury? You look sick." Honest and blunt like a rock.

Though his brother is right, Steffan waves off that answer, or at least attempts which is more or less a weakened version of it, no strength behind the gesture. "Soon, Rowan, soon. It appears I am under the weather but it should fade soon." As for the his wound, the younger de Wylye releases a sigh as he points down to his thigh, "A spear there but it was just a flesh wound, a healer bandaged me up so I was in no threat of bleeding out."

The elder Wylye folds his arms over his chest. "I hope you are correct, but what do the healers say? A small wound can become dangerous if left to fester, brother." Rowan has enough of first aid to know this, but few other particulars. "I hope you are eating, too…" Nutrition be damned!

At the moment, Steffan is situated in his tent and laying on his cot, not looking too well. He has been attempting to rest, fighting some sort of sickness that has managed to plague him after the skirmish against the Dorset forces that were marching on Ebble. One can easily see the young knight perspiring from his forehead while his shirt is rather damp. Rowan has made a visit from the Wylye manner, having ridden all the way south to the Salisbury War Encampment when his brother failed to show up at home or even in Sarum.

"I… haven't asked for the healers to come again, the leg should be healing up nicely and it wasn't a major wound, brother." Steffan says in response to Rowan's concern though now there is the seed of doubt being planted that the wound had gotten worse. "I've been eating some… but haven't been hungry. Just tired." But with him being feverish, he has not been able to sleep well.

From not there, to there, all of a sudden there's another head thrusting through the tent flaps. It's a beautiful head, loose curls bouncing everywhere, and the expression Vesper wears is beatific. "How is my patient?" chimes she, as she slides inside, small enough not to hunch, graceful enough to bypass anything in her way with an easy swish-swish of evergreen skirts. "Still handsome?" she flirts, tossing Steffan her best smile before she notes Rowan in the tent. "I can see where he gets it from."

And just like that, Rowan meets Steffan's vigilant and evidently pretty healer. One eyebrow raises at the compliment and he then looks at his brother with greater understanding. Or at least he believes he knows the situation more now. "Ah, hello m'lady. Is my brother doing better?" He squints a little at Vesper.

When the healer appears with her usual bubbly demeanor, Steffan can only release another sigh as he looks to his brother, "And there she is, my healer." The look that Rowan gives him is only returned with a shake of head, as if silently answering a silent question, "Lady Vesper, this is my brother, Lord Rowan de Wylye, head of the manor. Rowan, this lady is the one who saw to my wound, Lady Vesper de Newton." Proper introductions are made out of courtesy before the younger de Wylye answers her question, "I'm afraid I have managed to catch some sort of sickness, My Lady. That is why I am abed right now… I had hoped that rest would be the proper medicine for this but alas, it has been ineffective thus far."

Vesper checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 9.

Vesper is not like most of the Newtons, with their piety and soft-spoken ways. The look that is exchanged between Rowan and Steffan, she sees, and for the smile that spreads across her lips, pleased and amused is she. Still, she offers a graceful curtsey for Rowan, because she was not raised in a barn. "What your brother says without speaking is that I am most certainly not the sort of woman for him, Sir Rowan, though despite such an uncouth sentiment, here I am to check for myself. The wound," she adds, as a pertinent afterthought. Towards the bed she heads, her satchel held before her. "Now, let's see, shall we? Have you been exercising too much, Sir Steffan?"

Rowan looks a mite humbled at Steffan's silent answer, as well as Vesper's introduction. He bows to the lady in return. "Apologies for my presumptions, Lady de Newton. I am pleased by brother is being tended to." He bites the inside of his cheek. "He does not like to stay in bed… though I suspect he has little choice, right now."

Steffan checked his honest of 10, he rolled 9.

With how blunt Vesper puts the unspoken conversation between himself and his brother, Steffan quickly attempts a voice of protest, "Wait one moment, Lady Vesper, I did not…" Though words do falter as he tries to find an excuse that would ring true to what he meant to say to Rowan. However, each one that enters his mind would not do Vesper justice as they would ring untrue. Finally a answer is offered, one that is subtle yet diplomatic, "I only mean to tell my brother that you and I have only made our acquaintance in the aftermath of a battle, where you were kind enough to see that I do not lose my, or my life." As for her question about him having been moving around, with his brother's added answer, a scowl surfaces on Steffan's serious expression, "Unfortunately, Lady Vesper, I have not. I have not been able to find the energy to leave this cot. For some reason I continue to feel… tiredness. The leg, though it no longer hurts, there is a throbbing sensation from where the wound was."

"Never apologize for an innocently asked question, Sir Rowan," Vesper makes her reply, short and sweet. Then her focus is on Steffan's thigh and she begins to hum as she pulls out her surgical supplies. The tune is a bawdy one, best left in the docks where surely it came from, yet it appears here, sliding incongruously from the beautiful young lady's mouth as she examines the now-septic wound. Despite her humming, it's clear by her reply in the midst of the song, that she was listening to Steffan's politely worded excuses. "You are far too serious for me," she informs him with a quirky, cocky smile. "The wound is infected. Most unfortunate. Likely my fault. I shall have to excise and clean once more, and then bandage with purifying herbs. It will hurt."

Vesper checked her profession of 15, she rolled 1.

Steffan rolls 1d3 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)

Rowan checked his honest of 16, he rolled 13.

Rowan cants his head, but he lets Vesper move forward with the healing with little protest. He was not the professional! "It wasn't for the spoken question…" he murmurs in reply before he's surprised again by Vesper's choice of song. His prior concern for what may happen between a young man and a pretty healer is promptly dashed further… though it was a catchy tune.

Steffan's diagnosis prompts another frown. "I thought so…" Should he be angry at Vesper for botching the job in the first place? He looks conflicted. Infections happen all the time. "Brother, take as long as you need. And don't get up until you're truly healed."

For the time being, Steffan remains silent as Vesper begins to make her preparations so she can see to his wound and also check on what has made him ill, the bawdy tone though is recognized by the young de Wylye but the serious expression that is maintained as well as the thinning of lips reveals that he may not wholly approve of it. No words to chastize are made, no lectures offered this time. No words of protest were made when the lady healer claims that he is too serious, but he might have realized that she is right, so he can only grouch in silence.

As for the wound though, Steffan does look down at his thigh when she begins to examine it, releasing a light sigh, "The fault does not lie with you, Lady Vesper, the blame is fully on those from Dorset. And pain is a realm that knights are familiar with, worry not but thank you for the warning. Do as you need to, though I would be most unhappy if you are required to remove my leg." Now that last sentence may be an attempt at a joke, though with Steffan, one really never knows. Steffan does glance towards his brother as he prepares himself for what is to come, "Worry not, brother, I will not foolishly aggravate this wound, but I will also not tarry in my duties, to you or His Grace." Super serious.

"He will need to be at bed rest for seven days, at least, and possibly another seven after that if the healing does not proceed as it should. Perhaps, though, the fault lies with you for being so handsomely distracting," Vesper torments Steffan with her flirtations momentarily, before turning to his healing. It's painful, as she said it would be. This time, Vesper takes serious steps to cleanse the wound, even using a small measure of undistilled alcohol. It burns, like it must, and she hums lightly, mellifluously, like she does. This tune is about a serious knight, and a stick somewhere it shouldn't be.

Rowan gives an understanding nod. "Two weeks, then, possibly. I will inform mother so she does not fret." At this point, however, the dear lady of the manor was likely used to her three boys getting into far more trouble than she'd like! There was some disappointment in the fact that Steffan had missed his wedding, but his health was significantly more important.

The continued flirtation on Vesper's end was becoming more and more amusing. "You're in good hands it seems, brother."

The thought that he may be stuck in bed for a fortnight brings great displeasure to Steffan and when she offers more honeyed words for him, there is only a smirk in response. And then there is the pain, which he was prepared for. The younger de Wylye does not look down at his leg when it is being worked out, just allowing Vesper to do as she needs to without the visual anticipation to make it worse. There is a thinning of lips, gritting of teeth, and his hands grasps powerfully at the sheet of his cot as the wound is cleansed. In between the burning pain, Steffan is able to grunt out three short words, "Shut up Rowan." Then silence again, only a tune that the younger Wylye Knight does not recognize as there is no stick attached to him, not one that he can see.

"Oh, he certainly could be in good hands," Vesper mutters, unable to resist the innuendo, and the answering cheeky grin summoned to the lovely bow of her lips as a result. Once the festering, pus-filled wound is cleaned out, Vesper begins applying a compote of herbs, noxious smelling enough to make the staunchest of stomachs rebel. It is smeared with tender care, at least, and then covered with a fresh wrapping. The lady kneels back, resting her bloody hands on the green cotton of her lap. "I cannot stitch it just yet. Mid-week, and I shall come back to determine if it might be clean enough to sew. Try not to move too much. I do hope," she casts a meaningful eye to Rowan, "you have someone who might watch over him and bring him his meals, help him to the commode?"

The smaller Wylye chuckles lightly at Steffan's grouse in between his guttural noises of pain. "That's more like it. I think you must be feeling better already." Being wry and sarcastic does not usually come so easily to Rowan, but this seems to be one of those rare exceptions. He purses his lips thoughtfully at Vesper's intense gaze and request. "Did you not bring your squire, brother? Hefin is with me and I can leave him for you to tend to you, if I must."

It appears that Steffan has given up on trying to defend himself from two fronts, as it is a battle that he is destined to lose when both Rowan and Vesper team up against him. There is another silent, gritting of teeth and sheet clutching when the goop of foulness is applied to his wound. The pain is certainly greater now than when he was initially stabbed by the spear, as adrenaline tends to be a good insulator for pain in the heat of battle, to allow a knight to fight out to the best of abilities. Now, being stuck, bored, and weary in his tent, there is nothing to shield him from the stinging nerves.

Eventually, when Vesper is done, Steffan would release a long breath, his chest rising and falling as he sucks in air, trying to settle back to calmness. "Very well, Lady Vesper, I shall remain abed and resting for a few more days." There is a nod to Rowan's question, "Yes, he is out seeing to my horse, taking proper care of the charger. I did not expect you to come visit. Keep your squire, brother. I will be fine." And with Steffan's discipline, he will no doubt stay in bed as the healer commands.

Critical Fail!
Steffan checked his flirting of 8, he rolled 20.

Vesper pushes up from her knees in a practiced, fluid gesture, to stand. There is a damp cloth she uses to wipe her hands clean of Steffan's blood, and then she's eyeing the man critically. "Hm. Yes. You'll live, I think. You could do with a bit more joie de vivre, though." Completely unasked, is that advice, before the Lady de Newton begins to pack up her satchel. "I ought to drag you along the next time I go to visit the ill peasants."

"Very well. I'm sure Hefin wishes you a speedy recovery, as well." He does not comment on Steffan needing a dose of 'joie de vivre', but the beginnings of a smirk dance upon his lips. "I prefer he visit the healthy peasants, truly." Rowan turns back towards the entrance flap of the tent. "I ought to go and let you rest. I will visit again within the week."

When Rowan looks to be departing, Steffan gives his brother a look when it appears he is abandoning his younger brother to the clutches of the healer, as if saying 'Et tu, Brute?' The younger de Wylye also gets this suspicious feeling that Vesper and his older brother are in league together when she suggests that he needs more joie de vivre in his life. "Thank you for coming, Rowan, though I believe another visit is unnecessary as you have matters to attend to at home. I shall return as soon as I am able." As for the invitation by Vesper, Steffan can only politely decline, "As inviting as your offer sounds, Lady Vesper, I would only be in the way as you tend to your patients, thought your sentiments are appreciated. Thank you for caring for my leg."

"I know a dismissal when I hear one," Vesper replies, her laughter light and airy and just the slightest bit mocking. She sweeps Steffan an exaggerated curtsey, though no less elegant for the excessive motion. "Good Sir Knight, it pleases me to be able to help. I do hope when next I come, I will be able to pierce you with my needle. Fare thee well." Is it a hope to see him healed? Or to be able to cause him more pain? Who knows! Vesper withdraws after Rowan.

Rowan releases a sigh and shakes his head to his brother. "I can visit you and take care of my duties at home, brother. It is no great undertaking. It is more efficient to acquire news that way and I'd like to think you enjoy my company." Rowan also suspects Steffan may not enjoy his teaming up with Vesper, so only having to deal with one may be preferable! He gives his younger brother one last reassuring smile. "Do be careful, Steffan." Then, he departs, evidently with Vesper close behind!

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